The latest ABC national newspaper report allows media folk and advertisers alike to turn a critical eye toward the circulation figures for the UK’s biggest newsbrands, signalling where audiences are heading for their daily news fix.
 
October was a relatively steady month across the board and with growth in print circulation near enough impossible to acheive in this day in age, delivering a strong and stable performance whilst continuing to pull in huge audiences is something worth celebrating (if you ask me).
 
Marginal losses were reported for the ‘Big Dogs’, the Sun and the Daily Mail, however both papers still draw in massive average daily audiences (nearly 2 million and 1.7 million respectively). In the quality marketing, the Guardian, ‘i’ and the Times all saw circulation drops of around 1%.
 
The Times, however, was unique in reporting an audience growth of 1.6% over the last 12 months, whilst all other titles recorded annual losses.
 
In the mid-market, the Daily Express enjoyed a circulation increase of 1.5% over the month of October. Popular titles, the Daily Record and the Daily Star didn’t fare as well, reporting losses of 3.2% and 2.6% respectively.
 
Overall, the daily market was down 1.6% across the month.
 
In the Sunday market there was a general balance between papers reporting increased audiences and those reporting marginal falls. The market was down 1.1% PoP, overall.
 
The biggest circulation drop was seen by the Sunday Mirror (-2.9%) and the biggest successes, the Mail on Sunday (up 0.6%) and Sunday Post (up 0.8%). The Sunday Telegraph and the Observer also reported growth (both up 0.3%).
 
The Sunday Mail continued the growth documented in September, having sold an additional 0.2% copies.
 
The Guardian website pushes the point that the last time the Sun sold fewer than an average of 2 million copies per day was in 1971. Upon first reading, this may seem like some kind of shocking revelation. You know what though? Yes, the world of journalism has changed drastically since the 70s (what hasn’t?) but whilst headlines like this may suggest disaster the reality, for advertisers trying to reach people through newsbrands, is far less dismal. Quick fix readers with a fleeting eye and a mere 5 minutes to spare are heading online to read up on current affairs whilst the portion of readers who still invest in a printed copy everyday, well they represent the more loyal and engaged segment of the overall audience. Understanding the specific role of online and print advertising in the customer journey of your audience is crucial for all brands.
 
Getting the balance right – knowing where your specific audience are hanging out – that’s the starting point of any strong media plan and is a conversation we are always eager to engage in. If you’re looking to advertise through print and/or online newspapers, give us a shout and we’ll offer you some words of wisdom and a cup of tea.